“I want to cherish the traditions, develop the sound, and expand the repertoire. And surprise the audience.”

Photo by Stewen Quigley

Cecilia Rydinger is one of Sweden’s leading musical personalities, with a broad sphere of activities as a conductor and teacher in higher musical education.

OD stands for rich traditions and high quality. This is a heritage that Cecilia Rydinger wants to nurture, while at the same time constantly striving to seek out new ways to develop the choir.

“I want to preserve and steward the music for male-voice choir that already exists, and the rich sound that has been established in the choir for a long time. The capacity to produce infinitely faint and unbelievably powerful nuances in combination with a tonal density and intensity that is otherwise only found in great symphony orchestras. OD is without doubt one of the best male-voice choirs in the world, and it is tremendously inspiring to have the opportunity to work with this choir.”

The challenge is to luxuriate in the traditions and always make quality the prime concern – and at the same time to find new modes of expression and concert forms.

“We can do this by collaborating with artists and musicians, also from other parts of the music world. By performing in unconventional places. And by daring to do new things: to venture into deep waters when it comes to commissioning new music, trying out alternative concert forms, and surprising our audiences – and thereby also finding new listeners.”


Cecilia Rydinger is since 2008 the conductor and artistic director of Orphei Drängar, at the helm of which she performs extensively in concerts and tours, nationally and internationally. Together with OD she regularly makes recordings, leads first performances and cooperates with artists from widely different fields.

Cecilia Rydinger holds the positon as Vice-Chancellor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. She has previously served as professor in orchestral conducting at the same institution.

Since 2004, Cecilia Rydinger is a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music.

Choir conductor:

Cecilia Rydinger was the conductor and artistic director of Allmänna Sången in Uppsala between 1988 and 2009. In addition to concerts and tours, the choir recorded CDs on the BIS label and scored multiple successes at a number of international competitions.

She is today a sought-after jury member at choral competitions around the world and teaches international master classes in choral conducting.

Orchestral conductor:

From 1994 to 1998, Cecilia Rydinger was the principal conductor at the Värmland Opera (now Wermland Opera) where she received acclaim for her Wagner interpretations – Der fliegende Holländer, The Valkyrie and Tristan und Isolde.

Awards and distinctions:

  • In 1999, Cecilia Rydinger was awarded the Johannes Norrby Medal for furthering choral singing in Sweden, and in 2001 she was awarded a scholarship from the conductor Sten Frykberg’s memorial fund.
  • In 2005, she received the medal Litteris et Artibus from H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf for her work in the field of musical art.
  • In 2009, she was named Choir Conductor of the Year.
  • In 2011, she received the Award for Culture from the County Council of Dalarna, and in the same year she was awarded the annual honorary citizenship by the Governor of the County of Uppsala.